Is a Collie the dog for you?

What are the grooming requirements?

There are two different coat types of rough collies: straight coat & big coat. There are also smooth collies. This is a maximum maintenance coat that needs frequent, thorough, regular brushing in order to prevent mats, tangles & remove dead hairs. Areas that tend to mat often are behind the ears, the pant and around the collar (if left on). Despite the Roughs long coat, they don't shed as much as Smooths. Rough's shed their undercoat once or twice a year while Smooths shed all year round. It's essential to brush down to the skin & work through the undercoat. A de-matting rake is useful to reduce undercoat to manageable levels.

How easy to train?

Intelligent, easy to please & quick to learn. Gentle, consistent, reward-based training is best. Harsh scolding or physical punishment will make them  nervous, uncooperative & loose trust in you. They need mental stimulation & reassurance of training sessions to build up confidence.

How suitable are they as family dogs?

Given a well-balanced family life, they are loyal, devoted, well-mannered pet particular fond of children. However, their high sensitivity makes them react badly to stress & tensions. Not the best choice for hectic lifestyles.

What type of home?

They're a country dog needing access to the outdoors. Rough Collies needs company & involved in family activities. Not the best breed for the house proud as they molt/shed heavily & the coat carries mud, dirt & leaves.

What type of owner?

A calm, patient & sensitive personality as Collies are very sensitive. They shouldn't be left alone all day long without any interaction. Owners must be prepared to commit time for socializing, training, play & grooming.

How compatible with other pets?

They're kind, tolerant nature makes them generally excellent with other household pets. Some collies have a stronger herding instinct & may try to herd other pets by circling, chasing & nipping. Providing other activities can keep their herding instinct under control if they're not used to herd livestock.

How much exercise?

Their exercise needs aren't demanding. They can stay fit with a daily walk for an hour or so with free time running off lead (in a safe place). They're active outside, but inside can be couch potatoes.

What to be aware of?

A lack of confidence can develop into separation anxiety when left alone.  Highly reactive to loud noises. Some may be high strung & excessive barking. These problems can be avoided with proper training & socialization.

What health problems?

Generally healthy with few health problems. However, parents should be screened prior to breeding & puppies should be screened for Collie eye anomaly (CEA), Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Canine cyclic neutropenia, Hip dysplasia & Mdr1. All these problems can be tested for. Other problems may be genetic (but no screening tests exists for) are: bloat, epilepsy, tendency toward allergies, Collie nose (DLE) & hypothyroidism.

What good points?

Friendly, intelligent, loyal, affectionate, playful, protective, sensitive, sweet natured, nonaggressive, easy to train, polite with strangers & other pets.


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